PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — Paying for an expansion of Medicaid in South Dakota by reducing state spending on the program may be easier than previously anticipated for officials and others investigating the possibility.

Officials hope to have a better idea next month whether federal moves to take on more Medicaid costs for Native Americans will allow South Dakota to cover expansion.

The February policy changes apply to a broader array of services than the state was figuring. A recent state analysis shows the services add up to millions of dollars in state Medicaid spending.

Kim Malsam-Rysdon, a senior adviser to Gov. Dennis Daugaard, says that means more cost-saving opportunities for the state.

Daugaard has said he would like a special legislative session to consider expansion if moving forward turns out to be viable.

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